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williamcll

Power supply eating up too much of your case? This could be your solution.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

image.png.7c1e32621a6fbeb0733439463531f9e7.png

 

A Chinese company by the name PicoBox recently released a motherboard power supply unit that is only as big as thumb drive while offering up to 250 Watts of power.

Quote

PC builders who like tiny chassis have a new power supply option that could save them a lot of space. PicoBox has a new line of extra small power supplies (PSUs) this called the PicoBox Z2—and they're seriously small. These little guys measure in at 56mm long, just big enough for its 24-Pin ATX to plug directly into your motherboard.

The company has released four models, each with more power output than the last. They're available from 120W up to an impressive 250W.

 

We're not suggesting you use a power supply like this for your next full ATX desktop build—but it would be perfect for a Mini-ITX build. These were designed with miniature desktops in mind, much like the Geeek A1 Mini-ITX Case we reviewed in August. There aren't many PSUs that can fit inside a Mini-ITX case, but PicoBox is certainly up to the challenge. PicoBox ensures performance efficiency up to at least 94%. You can grab a PicoBox Z2 of your own for less than $30 (€27) on the official website. If you're looking for a PSU with the smallest possible form factor, this could be your best bet. Not only does it promise serious performance for its size, but its low price makes it budget-friendly.

Source:http://www.pico-box.com/en/products/7826/Z2-ATX-200

            https://www.tomshardware.com/news/picobox-tiny-psu,40425.html

            https://www.techspot.com/news/81950-picobox-56mm-psu-plugs-directly-motherboard.html

 

 

Thoughts: This would be great for a lot of custom system builders and OEMS that sells media PCs but I doubt this will get popular anytime soon since you may need more than just this module (such as their Pico X power modules) to feed the rest of the system. It would be fantastic for a LTT build for though, or de8aurer's recent HTPC build.


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Its still kinda meh since you still need 110/220V AC to 12V DC adaptor because this thing feeds from 12V DC.


Main system: i7 8700k 5Ghz / Asus Prime Z370-A / Corsair Vengeance 2x8GB 3000Mhz / Gigabyte RTX2080 Aorus Extreme / EVGA 750W GQ / Fractal Design Meshify C

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Pico PSUs have been around for years, this is nothing new.

 

5 minutes ago, Streetguru said:

99% chance it still needs the normal external bricks they sell. That's just to hook up to the 24 pin and presumably the CPU 8 pin.

They do require an external brick.


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these have been around for a long time. before smart car systems things like this were used to build a computer system for a car or truck because it was all 12 volt. i had seen some systems built and the computer was mounted under the driver seat....this looks good for that actually

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7 minutes ago, PopsicleHustler said:

Its still kinda meh 

Not really since this is to let you save space inside the case...

 

Perfect for those who want to pimp their case out and don't want a big black brick taking up space and a godsend for smaller form factors where you can have a long extension like cable and the brick sitting out of harms way.


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4 minutes ago, Noctus said:

 

It is only useful in systems where a FlexATX power supply doesn't fit. Which is very few systems.


I edit my posts a lot

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12 minutes ago, Streetguru said:

It is only useful in systems where a FlexATX power supply doesn't fit. Which is very few systems.

And this is even smaller than that, giving more room for a custom build inside the case. It's quite useful....


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5 minutes ago, Noctus said:

And this is even smaller than that, giving more room for a custom build inside the case. It's quite useful....

Even the smallest of ITX cases have room for a flexATX power supply.

You'd need an STX or NUC type of system to really make use of this.

Otherwise SXF power supplies go up to 450-600W


I edit my posts a lot

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16 minutes ago, Streetguru said:

Even the smallest of ITX cases have room for a flexATX power supply.

You'd need an STX or NUC type of system to really make use of this.

???? If i didn't want the bulk of the bigger PSU's, and to use the space they take up for a custom build, flexATX included. This picobox (and others of it's size) is perfect. Why are you trying so hard to convince me this isn't a positive?


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1 hour ago, Noctus said:

???? If i didn't want the bulk of the bigger PSU's, and to use the space they take up for a custom build, flexATX included. This picobox (and others of it's size) is perfect. Why are you trying so hard to convince me this isn't a positive?

Because it still requires an external brick where as the FlexATX PSU is self contained and still very small.

If you totally design a case around it, then yes it's useful, but do you really need to shave off a 2.5x2.5 inch rectangle from the side of the ITX case?

https://www.amazon.com/Win-BQ656T-AD120TBL-Mini-ITX-Desktop-Black/dp/B008F01YA2


I edit my posts a lot

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46 minutes ago, Streetguru said:

 but do you really need to shave off a 2.5x2.5 inch rectangle from the side of the ITX case?
 

Yes, if, like i've stated repeatedly, that you'd want to use that space to maximize the internal space of the case for additional customization and have a long ass cable with a brick attached. Out of the way.

 

I feel like i'm Bill Murray in Groundhog Day...


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6 minutes ago, Noctus said:

Yes, if, like i've stated repeatedly, that you'd want to use that space to maximize the internal space of the case for additional customization and have a long ass cable with a brick attached. Out of the way.

 

I feel like i'm Bill Murray in Groundhog Day...

What is there to customize in what would be the world's smallest PC case?


I edit my posts a lot

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These are anything but new. These have been around for ages


I spent $2500 on building my PC and all i do with it is play no games atm & watch anime at 1080p(finally)...

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#1. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

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#3. There is nothing "wrong" with being wrong. Learning from a mistake can be more valuable than not making one in the first place.

 

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5 hours ago, PopsicleHustler said:

Its still kinda meh since you still need 110/220V AC to 12V DC adaptor because this thing feeds from 12V DC.

Super interesting for me though as i am looking at a PC build for an RV (full 12 volt system). 

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5 hours ago, Streetguru said:

99% chance it still needs the normal external bricks they sell. That's just to hook up to the 24 pin and presumably the CPU 8 pin.

Yep, it's a DC-DC power supply


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Just a list of my personal scores for some products, in no particular order, with brief comments. I just got the idea to do them so they aren't many for now :)

Don't take these as complete reviews or final truths - they are just my personal impressions on products I may or may not have used, summed up in a couple of sentences and a rough score. All scores take into account the unit's price and time of release, heavily so, therefore don't expect absolute performance to be reflected here.

 

-Lenovo Thinkpad X220 - [8/10]

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A durable and reliable machine that is relatively lightweight, has all the hardware it needs to never feel sluggish and has a great IPS matte screen. Downsides are mostly due to its age, most notably the screen resolution of 1366x768 and usb 2.0 ports.

 

-Apple Macbook (2015) - [Garbage -/10]

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From my perspective, this product has no redeeming factors given its price and the competition. It is underpowered, overpriced, impractical due to its single port and is made redundant even by Apple's own iPad pro line.

 

-OnePlus X - [7/10]

Spoiler

A good phone for the price. It does everything I (and most people) need without being sluggish and has no particularly bad flaws. The lack of recent software updates and relatively barebones feature kit (most notably the lack of 5GHz wifi, biometric sensors and backlight for the capacitive buttons) prevent it from being exceptional.

 

-Microsoft Surface Book 2 - [Garbage - -/10]

Spoiler

Overpriced and rushed, offers nothing notable compared to the competition, doesn't come with an adequate charger despite the premium price. Worse than the Macbook for not even offering the small plus sides of having macOS. Buy a Razer Blade if you want high performance in a (relatively) light package.

 

-Intel Core i7 2600/k - [9/10]

Spoiler

Quite possibly Intel's best product launch ever. It had all the bleeding edge features of the time, it came with a very significant performance improvement over its predecessor and it had a soldered heatspreader, allowing for efficient cooling and great overclocking. Even the "locked" version could be overclocked through the multiplier within (quite reasonable) limits.

 

-Apple iPad Pro - [5/10]

Spoiler

A pretty good product, sunk by its price (plus the extra cost of the physical keyboard and the pencil). Buy it if you don't mind the Apple tax and are looking for a very light office machine with an excellent digitizer. Particularly good for rich students. Bad for cheap tinkerers like myself.

 

 

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Remind me again when we have something like this that plugs directly into mains


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Looks similar to PicoPSUs as others have said. In a quick look at the one linked in OP, they have the same "problem" in that on modern higher performing systems, the bulk of the power is taken on 12V line. The 200W PSU only claims to deliver 144W on 12V rails.

 

I forgot the exact model PicoPSU I had, but it practice it had a sustained rating of under 100W on 12V rail, barely enough for the i3-4150T and 750Ti I was running. I never finished the custom mod either... At the time the only "small" PSUs were to reused 1U server PSUs, but moving the bulk to an external brick makes things a lot easier.


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You can make them smaller ... but it's an issue of price.

 

Basically these boards are 2-3 buck regulators ( 12v->3.3v, 12v->5v , 12v -> -12v) and a microcontroller for soft shut down, power good signal etc.

Linear sells 2+ rail modules you can slap on a tiny pcb and control them using a microcontroller, for example LTM4628 can do up to 5.5v and 8A (times 2) at 96% efficiency in a 15x15mm package... but it's 40$. Add a 8-10pin micro for the power good signals and shut down, a -12v inverter and a tiny ldo for the micro and you got your "picoPSU".  

 

They sell the Z2-200w at 23$ and it's exactly the same specs 8A for 5v (5v and 5v standby), 8a for 3.3v and 12A for 12v ... 12v is pass through, but it's basically a limitation of the awg18 (or awg16?) wires that come into the psu and possible limitation of the barrel jack connector.

 

You can bet that 23$ psu costs around 10$ in parts to manufacture... that's the problem... you can make even smaller but people won't pay that much.

 

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so I turn my PSU's cord into a laptop charger?


into trains? here's the model railroad thread!

The way to get the specs for my PC. go to the store. Buy some potatos. boil them and mash the. and stuff that in a focus g with a ssd.

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Now that I think about it, this could be used to power your pc off of a battery.


...is there a question here? 🤔

sudo chmod -R 000 /*

What is scaling and how does it work? Asus PB287Q unboxing! Console alternatives :D Watch Netflix with Kodi on Arch Linux Sharing folders over the internet using SSH Beginner's Guide To LTT (by iamdarkyoshi)

Sauron'stm Product Scores:

Spoiler

Just a list of my personal scores for some products, in no particular order, with brief comments. I just got the idea to do them so they aren't many for now :)

Don't take these as complete reviews or final truths - they are just my personal impressions on products I may or may not have used, summed up in a couple of sentences and a rough score. All scores take into account the unit's price and time of release, heavily so, therefore don't expect absolute performance to be reflected here.

 

-Lenovo Thinkpad X220 - [8/10]

Spoiler

A durable and reliable machine that is relatively lightweight, has all the hardware it needs to never feel sluggish and has a great IPS matte screen. Downsides are mostly due to its age, most notably the screen resolution of 1366x768 and usb 2.0 ports.

 

-Apple Macbook (2015) - [Garbage -/10]

Spoiler

From my perspective, this product has no redeeming factors given its price and the competition. It is underpowered, overpriced, impractical due to its single port and is made redundant even by Apple's own iPad pro line.

 

-OnePlus X - [7/10]

Spoiler

A good phone for the price. It does everything I (and most people) need without being sluggish and has no particularly bad flaws. The lack of recent software updates and relatively barebones feature kit (most notably the lack of 5GHz wifi, biometric sensors and backlight for the capacitive buttons) prevent it from being exceptional.

 

-Microsoft Surface Book 2 - [Garbage - -/10]

Spoiler

Overpriced and rushed, offers nothing notable compared to the competition, doesn't come with an adequate charger despite the premium price. Worse than the Macbook for not even offering the small plus sides of having macOS. Buy a Razer Blade if you want high performance in a (relatively) light package.

 

-Intel Core i7 2600/k - [9/10]

Spoiler

Quite possibly Intel's best product launch ever. It had all the bleeding edge features of the time, it came with a very significant performance improvement over its predecessor and it had a soldered heatspreader, allowing for efficient cooling and great overclocking. Even the "locked" version could be overclocked through the multiplier within (quite reasonable) limits.

 

-Apple iPad Pro - [5/10]

Spoiler

A pretty good product, sunk by its price (plus the extra cost of the physical keyboard and the pencil). Buy it if you don't mind the Apple tax and are looking for a very light office machine with an excellent digitizer. Particularly good for rich students. Bad for cheap tinkerers like myself.

 

 

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